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Thread: Admiralty Island Deer Nov 2012

  1. #1

    Default Admiralty Island Deer Nov 2012

    Just got back last Sunday from a Sitka blacktail hunt up in SE Alaska. Originally, the plan had been to hunt the NE corner of Prince of Wales Island. Unfortunately, tremendously strong winds (gusts up to 100+ knots) got in the way of our nautical plans. Fortunately, my father is an idea man and promptly figured out that if we couldn't go south, we'd go north (we were based in Petersburg). So while the original plan was for my dad to go up a few days early, get the boat ready in Petersburg, and then sail south, we instead ended up meeting him after he'd be in town for a few days preparing for a cabin trip up on Admiralty Island.


    We ended up staying at at Forest Service cabin for five nights up on the south end of Admiralty Island. We had a great trip. Fortunately, the bout of cold weather that preceded our trip must have put most of the brown bears to hibernating, because we didn't see any bears or any bear sign at all, fresh or old.


    I was hunting with my friend Joel and my father. Because of a hand injury, my dad wasn't able to shoot, but did a helluva job as camp cook and outfitter. Joel, relatively new to hunting and having never shot a deer, was hunting with his .308. I was hunting with my tried-and-true 55# Wes Wallace longbow, my companion on many hunts.


    Here's a typical scene of us exploring the muskegs and timber. First pic is me, second is Joel.






    Early on the first morning, Joel made a great 100 yard shot on a fat doe and dropped her in her tracks. We ate tenderloins that night.


    There weren't a whole lot of deer around, and the next day we actually saw nothing. A heavy rain greeted us on day three, and we were out in the muskegs early. As we came over a little rise we looked about 150 yards away and saw through the mist two spike bucks fighting! After a quick discussion we decided that we'd both close to within 100 yards and then I'd continue on on my own to try and get in bow range. Given the rain and the soft ground it was pretty easy to close to about 100 yards. As I crept along the edge of the muskeg, the deer seemed to tire of fighting and started to ease their way back towards the timber. I gambled on which trail they'd take and quickly crawled through the loam to get on it. Unfortunately, I over shot, and the two bucks actually chose a less-used trail to leave the muskeg. This brought them between Joel, with his rifle, and me, or at least on a course that would put them there. I frantically crab-walked back to close the distance to the trail. One of the two bucks, at about 25 yards, sensed something wasn't quite right and gave me the laser-look through the trees. He was broadside, but very still and looking unhappy. Even though 25 yards is about the limit of my range, I felt that the shot was good and so I rose up to one knee and released. My arrow whisked through his chest.


    Amazingly, the whole time I'd been getting ready to shoot, Joel had the other buck (by pure luck) in his sight. THe second he heard my bow "twang" he fired, not sure if I had hit my buck or not. The other spike again dropped like a sack of rocks, and my buck bounded for 50 yards through the muskeg before bedding down and dying. We'd got both of them! It was quite an amazing experience.


    My buck as he lay:



    The two of us with both our deer and the muskeg where we shot them behind us.



    Another shot of my deer




    The two together



    The next few days we hunted hard but didn't see as many deer (the whole trip we only saw about fifteen deer). There was lots of sign but I think other guys had been there before us. There were definitely enough around and if I'd wanted to, I could've filled a couple more tags no problem with the rifle, but I decided to hold out until the last day. Unfortunately, the last two days a heavy frost hit and made everything about as noisy as could be, and we didn't end up getting any opportunities right at the end. Still, we were pleased as could be with the three deer, and it was a great trip.


    Beautiful scenery






    Great habitat



    Quite a bit of rut activity, in addition to the fighting deer!



    And the longbow performed yet again. A perfect passthru. It's beautiful and deadly.



    The cabin was comfortable and warm with the oil stove. A little dark, as we didn't have much light except head lamps, having planned on being on the boat instead of a cabin. Definitely will bring candles etc next time.



    And the flight out was beautiful, in crisp clear sky with views of the mountains on both sides.



    All in all a great trip. I want to thank everyone on the board who gave me advice in planning for this hunt. Hope to do it again soon!

  2. #2

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    Awesome!!! Way to go with the longbow. I'm jealous for sure. I am a recurve shooter, but I would like to shoot a longbow someday.

  3. #3
    Member Scorpion8's Avatar
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    Great writeup! Thanks for sharing.

  4. #4
    Member MaxBaglimit's Avatar
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    Very nice! I believe I stayed in that very same cabin 22 years ago with a couple buddies. I took a forky and 2 does on that trip.

  5. #5
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Enjoyed your story and photos. I'm reading "No room for Bears" right now and it is about Admiralty Island. Cool to see some photos to go with the story.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Steve
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
    Founding Member
    http://www.residenthuntersofalaska.org/

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    awesome story and trip!!! thanks for sharing

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Congrats with the longbow for sure.......
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    What a great hunt to take on the challenge of a longbow and be successful! That picture of the rain pounding the swamp around you is classic southeast. Probably what someone from Ketchikan would consider a nice day! congrats!
    I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. Fred Bear

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    Member L. G.'s Avatar
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    Nice job with the long bow. (Tred Barta style right there! Tho I'm sure he'd of missed)

    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    Enjoyed your story and photos. I'm reading "No room for Bears" right now and it is about Admiralty Island.
    And there are those who question a hot-carry while still hunting the brush on the ABC's.

    I was on Admiralty over the Vet's Day weekend. No fresh bear sign, but had my fall Unit 4 tag in my back pocket (as I usually do!)

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    Member jaydog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by L. G. View Post

    And there are those who question a hot-carry while still hunting the brush on the ABC's.
    No questions from this guy!

    to the OP - nice job - glad you had a good trip! Looks like the cabin is still holding up - I did a bit of work on that place some years back.

  11. #11
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    Great job with that long bow. I gave the bow up for awhile when I first came to Alaska and I picked it up again last year in hopes to shot my first balck bear this spring.
    Dan

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Very Impressive, Congrats to you both

    and that much more for the Bow Hunt Factor,...Wow, Well done
    (aren't there supposed to be a bunch of wheels and gizmos on that Stick tho ??,....grin)

    Thanks for the story and all the pics,....LUV That SE Country
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    (aren't there supposed to be a bunch of wheels and gizmos on that Stick tho ??,....grin)
    What......you mean all those wheels and gizmos that can break at the most inopportune time and be the potential end of your hunt....???......lol
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  14. #14

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    Npaul, was the stove in that Pybus Bay cabin back to 100%? Last year i did two weeks there and froze our nibblets off becuase the stove wouldn;t hold a fuel fire.

    Man, I love that "eeh ahh" bay area. I've killed 5 bucks and a few does there. My wife shot her buck off that rub last season...the one you posted with your bow leaning against it.

    Anyway, nice job. Lots of small deer in that area, but fun.

    congrats!

    Larry

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Love the double on the spikes and the way you managed to capture it all in words.

  16. #16

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    Thanks guys, it was definitely a great trip. Yeah the stove was working fine. We got low on oil once and sucked a bit of oil into the line and then had to burp the filter. It was weak for a few hours until we figured that out. I wonder if that was your problem? Once we burped the filter it worked great.

    The area was totally spectacular. Not quite as many deer as we may have hoped, but no bear either. Really a great adventure. Can't wait to go back.

  17. #17
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Bartlett View Post
    My wife shot her buck off that rub last season...the one you posted with your bow leaning against it.
    Now how cool is that....???!!!
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  18. #18
    Member akmac's Avatar
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    Nice job, I love traditional archery hunting as it take you back to your roots. That looks like beautiful country. What kind of broadheads were you using?

  19. #19

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    I use Zwickey two-blade and VPA three-blade mostly. I go back and forth.

  20. #20

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    Awesome stuff!!! Thanks for sharing. Looks like a great time and to bag one with a long bow is WAY cool!!!

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